Water Damage and Mold Remediation
This is the second of a two part article discussing water damage, mold and remediation in your home. The second part covers an Interview with a disaster restoration specialist, Richard Latour from Environmental Hygiene Solutions (EHS) about mold remediat
Richard Latour is no stranger to water damage and mold. He is the owner of Environmental Hygiene Solutions (EHS), disaster restoration specialists who have been in the business of remediating damage from water, smoke, fire and mold for the last decade. The most common calls he gets are from leaking roofs and hot water tanks. Attics and basements are the most likely places he is going to find mold in a home. He walks us through what he does when called in and what homeowners should look when they are going to hire water damage professionals or a mold remediator.
First, it is extremely important to find the source of the water damage and stop it! Cleaning up the water is next and is time sensitive. Latour likes to be called in as early as possible. The earlier he can get in with his equipment, the less damage the homeowner is going to incur. Latour stresses that the first 24-48 hours are crucial, as mold is more likely to be an issue after this time frame.
Latour brings in air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the areas and an air scrubber which captures airborne particles, spores & odors during water & fire damage restoration projects. Using a protimeter, his team will measure moisture content. They first measure the moisture in the driest part of the house, and then compare those results to where the water damage has occurred, allowing him to compare "apples to apples". Much of the potential damage can then be prevented with an antimicrobial spray, which stops and kills mold growth. If mold growth exists, one method of treatment is dry ice blasting, a non-invasive method which allows the remediator to treat around pipes and wires without ruining the integrity of the structure.
When hiring a company to clean up from water damage or to remediate mold, Latour has a few suggestions for home owners to keep in mind:
- mold certifications- some top ones for mold are IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification), NAMP (National Association of Mold Professionals), MICRO (Mold Inspection, Consulting and Remediation Organization) and NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspections)
- Lead Certified-since April 2010, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has mandated all contractors have their RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) Certification
- Beware of contractors that use scare tactics such as "black mold" to inflate their prices. While the stachybotrys mold, commonly known as "black mold" needs professional cleaning and remediation, the process of doing so is the same as for the more common molds, such as aspergillus and cladosporium.
- look for a contractor that offers free estimates
"Mold is everywhere", Latour says. Air quality tests are needed to compare inside vs. outside air quality. And if you can see the mold, testing becomes a moot point. Visible mold needs to be treated, period.
If you have any further questions about water damage, mold or damage caused by smoke and fire, please feel free to contact Richard Latour directly. He can be reached at 978-265-2284 or by email at RICHARD@EHS2.com, or visit their website www.EHS2.com.